The Kennedy Center, Sting, And The Best Use Of A Gospel Choir In The 21st Century

The Kennedy Center Honors are held each December with the purpose of the event being to recognize the lifetime achievement of people in the arts as well as their contribution to American culture.  Past honorees have included Elton John, Robert DeNiro, James Earl Jones, Neil Diamond, Paul McCartney, and of course Bruce Springsteen.

When a musician is honored they do the typical montage of their career and then have a couple musical acts perform some of the honoree’s hit songs.  In 2009 when Bruce was honored they brought out Sting for the finale to sing “The Rising.”

Here’s what happened next.

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Ladies and gentlemen, Sting…..

The pre-performance bow by the way is the international sign for, “I’m about to blow all of you away.”

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Hey Donald Sutherland, Alan Alda, and a third white guy that looks VERY eager.

NOTE:  Keep that third guy in mind cause his roll is pivotal to this video.                          

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Mr. President Michelle good to see you both.  Don’t worry Michelle and I know each other on a first name basis, so just calling her Michelle is completely appropriate.

I’ve got to imagine Obama right now is thinking, “This has been a good night, but a long night.  I hope to God Kim Jong Il doesn’t decide to declare war on the universe when I finally get home to bed.”

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I know, you’re thinking you are already bored to tears.  Stay with me.  I promise the payoff is worth it.

It’s unclear to me if Sting was going for the Captain Ahab look or more like a member of the Salem Witch Trials look.  Only his wife Trudie can be sure.  Also I legitimately fear the day when I can grow more hair on my face than on my head.

Adding Rogaine to my grocery list right now.

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Bruce while enjoying the night is still thinking about all the working Joes at Local 37 in Baltimore or the coal miners in the foothills of PA.  Bruce just isn’t fully engaged yet, but he will be soon enough.


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Now we’re getting somewhere.  Hello gospel choir!  Hello indeed.  And with that Harry Reid has woken up from his nap.

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Bruce approves, and all of his worries about the working man are beginning to melt away.

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Look at all the smiling faces

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I will guarantee that any world issue could be solved if a gospel choir was present during the meeting.  Middle East peace process, not a problem.  Nuclear disarmament, child’s play.  Doesn’t matter the issue a gospel choir would put everyone in a good mood during talks.  The UN should always have one on retainer.

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I like to picture the following conversation taking place at this point.

Bruce’s Underbite:  Hey Chin, I have to hand it to Sting I thought he was a real jabron, but the guy has serious showmanship.

Bruce’s Chin:  I know.  He’s got a great set up pipes.  Soul Patch your thoughts?

Bruce’s Soul Patch:  Those aren’t beads of sweat you see, those are tears.

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Sting’s smirk right now is because he knows he’s about to really blow the roof off.

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“Haha Oh my goodness Bruce, get a load of Boehner!  He’s dancing!”

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Call me a traditionalist, but once the President and First Lady are standing I think everyone needs to be on their feet at that point.

So remember that guy I told you to keep in the back of your head, well here he is now bathing in Sting’s soul.

The only other times I’ve seen a male that happy is when he sees the Magic Kingdom for the first time at age 6 or when he sees his first set of breasts at age 13.

It’s one of the best reactions I’ve seen in my life.  The man is so taken in with Sting.  My old roommate Jimbo and I realized after watching this that Sting is a snake charmer of middle aged me.

And for those cynics out there that think I’m just making outrageous statements I’ve poured through hours of Kennedy Center Honors footage and can confidently say that is the best reaction.  The runner-up reaction goes to Jack Nicholson though during 2004 when Kid Rock was performing Elton John’s Saturday Nights Alright (For Fighting).

Here’s Jack

Ok back to Sting.

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Again here is the awesome power of the gospel choir on display.  Ed Norton, maybe the most reserved and stoic individual in Hollywood is on his feet and smiling.

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Sandy Lyle from Crocodile Tears is so happy he’s doing the overhead clap.

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You did the people of New Jersey proud Mr. Sting.

By the way in the background that’s Bruce’s sister moved to tears by the performance.  THE POWER OF THE GOSPEL CHOIR.

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Maybe Sting’s greatest professional achievement.  Getting the Kennedy Center Honors, an event so stuffy it makes the Oscars look like a frat party, on their feet and dancing as if it was the 2008 performance of Al Green at the BET Awards.

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“I’m Barrack Obama and I approve this message.”

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I love you Sting.  I love New Jersey.  I love all the hard hat wearing Americans I wrote this song for.

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Bruce on behalf of myself, the band, my bow, and my beard thank you.

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Meryl Streep was actually given an Oscar nomination for this standing ovation.

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One love Bruce.

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One Love America.


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